Where's teh line between clean and bloated? means of measuring?

Mainframeguy

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I've been fiddling with my blog a fair bit, which prompts this post, but this could as well apply to any website.

Is there any metric or tool that can help you decide when you have gone too far with sidebar or widget additions and your site loses the snappy clean look you perhaps had in mind when you started out?

I certainly wanted a nice clean look to my blog and was happy with Chyrp! as giving me a good headstart on that. But of course then you want to add content and interest, and one widget leads to another. Now I am wondering if I have gone too far, especially with the recent additions of twitter and digg entries.

Of course a lot depends on the responsiveness of the widget hosts. It occurred to me there could well be a tool out there that will help you weed out any offending lag culprits... Or maybe this is a subjective matter and you have to monitor it yourself "by hand" so to speak.

Opinions and offerings appreciated, as always (blog on sig).
 

Geffy

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Its mainly a matter of personal preference when it comes to clean vs bloat.

While a lot does depend on how responsive your widget hosts are, the more you can do yourself and add caching to the better really, or else perhaps use javascript to insert the widgets so it doesn't hurt the initial page load.
 

LeeJend

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Visually bloated or performance bloated?

Performance - like Geffy said that's personal preference. If a page is not open in 3 seconds I'm annoyed, if not in 5 seconds I'm gone.

Visual - there are "accepted" design standards for clutter, colors, fonts, etc. They fill several courses. Trying to summarize them could start a flame of biblical proportions.

WTH:
3-5 items on a screen
high contrast colors (remember color perception impared people limit your options)
avoid too large (done with a crayon look) and too small fonts (legibility)
emphasize important items (underline, bold, italics, group with boxes, etc)

everyone continue the list...
 

Mainframeguy

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yeah, I guess I tend to bundle the two forms of bloating together, but the distinction is an important one.

In this context I was more focussed on the issues of performance, and that is where I imagined there might be tools out there that would "time" a site and identify the laggiest parts if you were aiming to address that. I agree with your 3 - 5 second perceptions and what prompted my post was that I am concerned my latest bloating might be pushing me towards the 2.5 second mark, but it is hard to judge.

Of course the other things you had to say are valuable too - as will be other posts on the subject I am sure :cool:
 

LeeJend

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Duh. Oh yeah. It looks good, nice and clean. Opening time was a hair slow, but acceptable, especially since I'm on my crappy laptop.

Seems to open slower in Firefox than IE 6 which is a little surprising.
 

Mainframeguy

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heh - more than that to fix right now! see here
Interesting about Ffox - is that 3.03, hard to believe it is Java.... does server side caching, cannot imagine that made too much diff - but maybe if you looked at Ffox first then IE it had cached stuff? I read elsewhere latest Ffox (beta?) was outstripping Chrome for Java speed.... Maybe Flash was preloaded or something? I have a pet hate thing with Flash and may make them a special category on my blog with a tick box to opt in to.
 

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